Two victims of last week’s mass shooting at a construction site in New Zealand had previously worked alongside the gunman, police have revealed.
According to court records, the gunman also had a violent history.
The shooting on Thursday (July 20) has shocked New Zealanders. It resulted in the closing of a portion of Auckland just hours before the opening game of the Women’s World Cup, which was staged in the city amid increased security.
The attacker entered the high-rise building early in the morning and began firing at terrified employees. He died after a gunfight with the police. The encounter injured one police officer, who is now in stable condition at the hospital.
According to police, three individuals are still in hospital with non-life-threatening injuries as a result of the incident, while two others have been discharged.
Read More: Gunman ‘who killed two’ in shotgun rampage in New Zealand named and pictured
The police have not formally confirmed the gunman’s identify, but they have not denied reports that he is Matu Reid, 24.
Reid was detained at home at the time of the incident, but he received special permission to work at the building site.
Reid’s criminal background is revealed in court records obtained by the news organisation Stuff.
He was convicted of domestic violence in 2021 after hitting and strangling his then-girlfriend.
According to the records, he utilised a variety of weapons throughout the assault, including scissors and a wine bottle. He physically assaulted her, punching and kicking her in the stomach and choking her for around 10 seconds, making her fear for her life.
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The police would not confirm if the man’s violent outburst was the result of any one particular event, though certain media reports reported that he had been fired from his work at the construction site not long before the incident.
Chris Hipkins, New Zealand’s Prime Minister, informed the nation that the shooting was an isolated occurrence.
Despite the tragedy, the Fifa football tournament resumed on Thursday night with a match between the host nation and Norway.
New Zealand imposed stricter gun legislation in 2019 in reaction to the country’s worst mass shooting, which caused a substantial shift in attitudes towards firearms. These laws indicate the country’s commitment to stricter gun regulations.
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According to New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins, the gunman wielded a pump action shotgun, and there was no political or ideological intention behind the shooting.
He said: “I want to thank the brave men and women of the New Zealand police, who ran into the gunfire, straight into harm’s way, in order to save the lives of others,
“These kind of situations move fast and the actions of those who risk their lives to save others are nothing short of heroic.”
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